Effective Facial Masks

You can use a variety of natural products to make your own facial masks.

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Whether you struggle with oily skin and acne or your face is more like the Sahara Desert, don't despair. Just change up your normal beauty routine, and add facial masks to your regimen. Facial masks can help soothe, exfoliate and draw impurities from the skin. Whether you're in need of moisture or need to remove excess oil from the skin, a facial mask might be the cure.

Exfoliating Masks

Oatmeal has always been renowned for its abilities to soothe skin and was commonly used as a beauty treatment by Egyptians and Arabians as early as 2000 B.C., according to the website Best-Natural-Cures-Health-Guide.com. They must have realized that face masks made with oatmeal are great for getting deep into your pores and cleaning out all the junk that can clog things up and cause acne. If you find that oatmeal feels a little too coarse against your skin, try using a mask featuring baking soda instead. It's as effective as an oatmeal mask but not as course; therefore, it's a better option for sensitive skin.

Moisturizing Masks

Many beauty products use fruits like mangoes and vegetables like avocados to moisturize the skin and hair because the nutrients in these foods can be absorbed into the skin or hair when they are applied topically. According to Bob Bergh of the University of California, avocado oil is naturally high in vitamins, including "the most important: vitamins E, C, and beta-carotene." Masks containing essential oils from mangoes, pineapples and papayas are also a great choice, as they are a natural vitamin-rich resource. Honey can also be used in homemade masks or added to your favorite over-the-counter facemask to increase its moisturizing effects. According to Jasmin Malik Chua of Planetgreen.com, "a natural antiseptic, honey heals and hydrates, while inhibiting infection and reducing inflammation (reference 1)."

Clarifying Masks

When it feels like your face needs a detox, opt for a clarifying mask. Clarifying masks use a variety of ingredients, including mud or clay, to draw impurities from the skin. The mud helps to absorb excess facial oils and also helps to exfoliate the upper-most layers of the skin. You can easily make your own clarifying mask by creating a paste from a mixture of pureed mango, milk powder,and about a tablespoon full of natural clay. You can also add soothing plant extracts like peppermint, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil to help cool and freshen the skin.

Drying Masks for Oily Skin

If you your face is determined to be a greasy mess, try making a homemade drying mask to fight the effects of oily skin. Jasmin Malik Chua of Planetgreen.com recommends using the lemon and egg white facial mask recipe from the book "Clear Skin: Organic Action Plan for Acne" by Julie Gabriel. According to Gabriel, "Egg whites help sop up extra facial oil, while healing and rebuilding skin with their protein-rich content." To make the mask, mix one beaten egg white and the juice of half of a lemon to form a paste. Apply the mixture to a freshly cleaned face, allow to dry for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse off.

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